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Government and Politics"Generational impact on terrorism," US intelligence warns of the atrocities committed by Israel in Gaza

“Generational impact on terrorism,” US intelligence warns of the atrocities committed by Israel in Gaza

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US Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, warned on Monday that the war in Gaza has contributed to the emergence of new security threats to the United States from terrorist groups, due to Washington’s support for Israel.

Haines revealed, at an annual hearing on global security threats, that this crisis has stimulated violence in a range of actors around the world, noting that although it is too early to know the ramifications and effects of this, the conflict in Gaza is likely to carry “terrorism threats.” “Gaza conflict will have a generational impact on terrorism.”

She explained, according to what was reported by the Washington Post, that the October 7 attack launched by Hamas on Israel led to the emergence of new threats to the United States from groups linked to Al-Qaeda and ISIS, while armed groups supported by Iran used “the conflict as an opportunity to pursue their own agenda” against the United States.

She added: “We have seen how it is inspiring individuals to conduct acts of antisemitism and Islamophobic terror worldwide.”

The security official made her statements before the Senate Intelligence Committee, in an open hearing in which senior leaders of US intelligence agencies provided testimony regarding security challenges around the world.

Haines continued, “The Gaza conflict is posing a challenge to many key Arab partners, who face public sentiment against Israel and the United States for the death and destruction in Gaza, but also see the United States as the power broker best positioned to deter further aggression and end the conflict before it spreads deeper into the region.”

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), William J. Burns, briefed lawmakers on the latest developments in the negotiations for a ceasefire agreement in Gaza. This initiative aims to ensure the flow of humanitarian aid and the release of hostages held by Hamas. In exchange, there is a proposal for the release of Palestinian detainees in Israel.

Following his return from the last round of negotiations in Doha, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) William J. Burns attended the hearing. His presence comes after eight recent trips to the Middle East, underscoring his dedicated involvement in talks aimed at securing the release of over 100 hostages still held captive in Gaza.

Burns spoke, with cautious hope, of the possibility that the ceasefire agreement could be “the first step toward what might be more enduring arrangements over time.”

He added: “I don’t think anybody can guarantee success,” he added. “What I think you can guarantee is that the alternatives are worse for innocent civilians in Gaza who are suffering under desperate conditions, for the hostages and their families who are suffering, also under very desperate conditions, and for all of us.”

According to the Washington Post, intelligence officials tried to distance themselves from the controversy surrounding the war. This conflict has deeply impacted American politics and placed the Biden administration in a challenging position. This predicament involves supporting an ally facing growing condemnation from the United Nations, international human rights groups, American voters, and liberals. This criticism is fueled by the escalating number of civilian deaths and the severe humanitarian conditions in the Strip.

The White House has issued a cautionary message to Israel regarding the potential relocation of its operations to Rafah, a city situated along the border with Egypt in the southern region of Gaza. This city currently serves as a refuge for approximately 1.5 million Palestinians who have sought shelter from the ongoing bombings. Israeli forces perceive Rafah as the last bastion of Hamas fighters that they aim to neutralize.

In the course of the hearing, Senator Tom Cotton, a staunch advocate for Israel from Arkansas, emphatically called upon Burns and Haynes to rebut allegations made by critics, asserting that Israel is engaging in the “extermination of the Palestinian people” through its military campaign.

The two officials refused. Burns said that while the administration understands “Israel’s need” to respond to the brutal attack on October 7, “I think we all also have to be mindful of the enormous toll that this has taken on innocent civilians in Gaza.”

Cotton posed a pointed question to the intelligence official: “Is Israel starving children in Palestine or Gaza?” This inquiry seemingly alluded to reports by the United Nations, humanitarian relief organizations, and certain Democratic lawmakers. These reports suggest that Israel’s reluctance to permit an adequate volume of food aid into Gaza is contributing to a potentially avoidable famine.

“The reality is that there are children who are starving,” Burns replied. “They’re malnourished, as a result of the fact that humanitarian assistance can’t get to them. It’s very difficult to distribute humanitarian assistance effectively, unless you have a cease-fire.”

The officials, comprising the FBI Director, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the State Department’s Office of Intelligence and Research, addressed an array of challenges during the discussion. These challenges ranged from diplomatic relations with China to the proliferation of artificial intelligence and the persistent threats posed by espionage and cyberwarfare.

US intelligence services emphasized that the United States confronts a “lower the barrier” scenario amidst mounting pressures arising from the competition between major powers, cross-border challenges, and regional conflicts.

In the 2024 annual report released by a US intelligence panel on threat assessment, the agencies highlighted that “an ambitious but anxious China, a confrontational Russia, certain regional powers like Iran, and more capable non-state actors are challenging longstanding rules of the international system,” questioning the traditional dominance of the United States within it.

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Kiranpreet Kaur
Kiranpreet Kaur
Editor at The Eastern Herald. Writes about Politics, Militancy, Business, Fashion, Sports and Bollywood.

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